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Front Page: Congress Passes Matthew Shepard Hate-Crime Bill

  • Congress has passed a bill making violence against LGBT Americans a hate crime. The bill named after Matthew Shepard is now headed to the White House for signature. — LA Times
  • Roman Polanski is one step closer to being extradited to the US. — AP
  • The FAA is investigating whether fatigue caused two Northwest Airlines pilots to overshoot the airport by 150 miles earlier this week. — New York Times
  • Significantly more Americans now doubt global warming. — The Guardian
  • Fox News founder Roger Ailes is being encourage to run for president in 2012. — Politico
Image Source: Getty
uswgo uswgo 7 years
This is another attempt to bring us into a orwellian police state and further legalize thought crime. Stop the new world order and bring real human rights and civil liberties to the table,
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
and i love the isolated incidents of gay people attacking children you brought up,that a lot of homophobes like to bring up in their arguements that homosexuals are inherently patholigical, predatory, and shouldn't be around are but sorry on a whole most people who attack, rape, and murder children, including young boys, ARE STRAIGHT MEN. sorry that diversion didn't work. and your example of the two white people killed by two blacks isn't particularly relevant to this conversation, but explain to me when white people were ever the victims of systemic, instutionialized racism in the united states? black people are the most targeted group for hate crimes based on race. . hate crimes laws are supposed to protect groups of people who are victims of systems of oppression and are sought out for violent reprisals simply because they possess "undesirable" attributes they cannot change. sorry to inform you, but white straight people do not have to contend with systems of oppression the way other groups of people do and that's just a fact. they are seen as the norm and are the most privileged group in society.
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
@cirrus1701- i find your commentary despicable. matthew shepard was CLEARLY targeted because he was gay and to deny that to make your asinine point is disgusting and besmirches his memory, and is a form of trying to deny homophobia and the myriad ways that lgbt americans are discriminated against. you don't get to whitewash how this young man was murdered because you can't take the truth, do you understand?
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
And I applaud you for it!! I am not saying that GLBT members of society shouldn't be protected and shouldn't have equal rights/opportunities, etc. I just think that laws shouldn't be conditional. I think someone said above that if the GLBT community is taking this as a major victory, then I'm very truly thrilled its having a positive outcome.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
SKG, to respond, I can pull from CaterpillarGirl -- just because I dislike this legislation does not in ANY way mean I don't support equal right (I don't call myself a "gay rights" or "womens rights" supporter -- its equal rights). I volunteer with an organization in NYC that has different sub-committees handle different "outreach" umbrellas. One committee regularly lobbies in Albany (NY state capital) for a law to be passed that lets women who have been abused and assault or kill their abuser will be given time off of their sentence. MY sub-committee puts me on 8 hour overnight shifts in New York City emergency rooms to sit with domestic violence victims and be their advocate during their visit. That said? I think murder is murder is murder. Someone who takes another's life should be punished for it as provided by the law. They shouldn't have to serve more time because the person they killed was a different color or gender or was hetero- or homosexual, and they shouldn't be allowed to serve less time because the person they killed was a hateful person. If we all want equality, we need to be treated equally. Also, I've taken those psych classes too, and do not trust The Masses or their decision making skills that much, either. However, it doesn't mean my belief on this changes just because people can be easily influenced. Just my two cents.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
Spacekatgal, is there anyone here saying that they disapprove of this bill but still agree with harsher punishments for other types of hate crimes? Am I somehow bigoted against all of these specially protected groups because I disagree with the basis of hate crime laws?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
Not everyone who opposes the hate crime bill dislikes gay think that? is illogical.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
How is a crime determined to be a hate crime? Do they look at the past of the criminal? Statements from family and friends? I really would like to know. I would google it but it is difficult searching websites from my phone.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
Sad day for America. Why? Because it took THIS LONG for this piece of legislature to actually be applied. I thought this had been passed years ago, when they took away "gay scare" as a defense in court.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
Agree with CaterpillarGirl & Chouette4u -- ALL people should be protected. One group shouldn't me more protected than another, or criminals shouldn't be more harshly punished because of who they hurt. If someone mugs a gay guy walking down the street because he's wearing a Rolex, is it a hate crime because he's gay?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
a spider..isnt he cute? and unnerving at the same time.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
CG, I have to ask. What is your avatar?
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
No matter what you think of me, I am being honest and true about my concern for your friend.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
"G, with all respect, I do think that your opposition to this bill belies your true feelings" Space, You like to call others racist and homophobes, but you throw those terms around WAY TOO MUCH for them to have any impact or to be true in any sense, I would hold back on doing that so your credibility goes up. especially on Citizen 4.0. where you are treading on thin ice.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
Sorry, I misread your other posts concerning your friend. If she is able to stay in this country, she needs to do so. She faces a horrific fate, if she is found out while in Iran. Let me rephrase concerning the other point. There is enough doubt in my mind as to whether he was murdered for being gay. The story has taken on a life of its own, with Mr. Shepard becoming a folk hero. I saw an interview with the animals that did this to him. They were just evil, pure and simple. I'm pretty sure some of the detectives on the case thought that the main motive was robbery. And, they were Christians (??) like Rev. Phelps and his gang are Christians. Meaning...they're not. (I find it kind of interesting that you brought that up.) Sorry. I just can't buy into this.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
Spacekat, were you the one with the gay Iranian friend? Please tell him to be safe and not to trust anyone on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Many gay males have been hunted like dogs through the social networking sites, especially in the Middle East. The fundies consider this mission halal. Please tell him to be careful!!
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
Matthew Shepard was not killed because he was gay. What happened to Mr. Shepard was an incredibly grotesque crime. No one is questioning that in the least. But, what about Jeffrey Curley? Jeffrey was only 10 years old when he died at the hands of 2 gay men. The same thing happened to 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising. Or what about Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville? They were white and the animals that brutalized and murdered them were black. They were charged and convicted with first degree murder, among a litany of other charges. I don't recall hearing a hate crime charge being among them. Now that I think about it, there was very little national coverage of this abomination in TN. Were hate crime charges applied to any one of these people? What I'm trying to say with these examples is that this law is on a very slippery slope. Phater, you made a good point. Theoretically, this law would certainly apply to you. A crime is a crime. CG's quote sums it up much more eloquently than I ever could. Hate crime laws, various religious and regular speech codes, etc. often protect certain minorities at the expense of others.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I can't wait for the day that LGBT community has the same standard of living as every other citizen of this country - including protection from hate crimes. Glad to see this bill is getting passed.
jessy777 jessy777 7 years
The hate crime laws are created to protect "minority" groups in society. They are constitutional as the pass the rational test that all government laws must in order to be held up by the court. There is a difference between a person committing murder during robbery and a person who kills based a the victims race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. All things now protected under the hate crimes law. The court system already treats criminals differently based a myriad of laws. We have degrees of murder. I think it is a great victory for civil rights. Finally, it can be argued that all legislation is based on emotion, from anger to sadness. It is a national emotion and we hear it all the time. Protests are based on emotion. Nothing in life is devoid of it, as evidence by these comments.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
I disagree with penalty-enhancing hate crime laws, but I am glad this is seen as a moral victory for the LGBT community.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
I know, I mean that the HATE CRIME LAW Has nothing to do with equal it?
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
CG - you wrote "different defendants are treated unequally under the law, which violates the United States Constitution." I was responding to that portion of your statement.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
chloe. This has nothing to do with equal protection. nothing. this has nothing to do with conservatives vs liberals IMO, This isnt anything to do with being homophobic, or racist, or bigoted, nothing. It has everything to do with legislating based on EMOTIONS.
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